I love my all-purpose cycling jacket, but it has one flaw: It’s black. That’s an advantage if I want to be inconspicuous once I’m at a destination, but not any kind of plus on the road.
So I’ve kitted it out with removable fluorescent sleeves. They slide on over the coat sleeves, and tuck into a pocket when not in use. I used a fluorescent poly knit and athletic elastic. (The tricky part is finding fluorescent thread. Luckily, I had some hanging around.)
They couldn’t be easier to make. Measure your coat sleeves, draw a pattern (on a fold) that tapers from the shoulder to the wrist, add a seam allowance and an allowance for stitching elastic to each end, and stitch them up. Here’s what a finished one looks like, inside out.
I used griper elastic for each end, folded the edges over, and stitched the elastic to the underside. (Gripper elastic is what’s on the inside of the lower edge of your cycling shorts, and maybe on your cycling tops, too.) Remember that your elastic should be a bit shorter than the opening to which it’s being attached.
It takes two seconds to slide these off and put them into a pocket when I want to blend in, rather than be screamingly visible.
Once I’d made the sleeves, I added a mesh vest. (It tucks away in a pocket just as easily as the sleeves do.) I ditch the watermelon helmet, too. It may be just a little ostentatious itself.
I think this will do the job, don’t you?
(It was 18 F — 7.7 C — out when I took these pictures. My coat is the seventh layer of apparel I’m stuffed into. Worked beautifully!)